‘Next Raksha Bandhan, I will tie her rakhi as she saved my life’

One of the biggest tragedies for a parent is to see their kids suffer. Unfortunately, this is a tragedy that a lot of parents in the world are destined to undergo. One such couple from Akola has taken to crowd-funding to provide treatment for their 7-year-old

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Every month, when Supesh Suralkar is taken to the hospital for blood transfusion, he asks is why he is not sent to school like his siblings. He calls his monthly treatment as ‘shakti’. Towards the end of every month, his power levels drop drastically making him feel weak and tired. It’s only after a painful blood transfusion that he feels alive again. These blood transfusions are like his ‘power doses’. He needed a bone marrow transplant to leave this disease behind so he can finally live life like other children his age.

“Looking at how disheartened he feels every time he has to be the only one going to the hospital.  Once, to make him feel better, I told him about the solution the doctors suggested – a bone marrow transplant. Ever since he found out, every night before sleeping he asks me if tomorrow he’s going to get operated. The answer has always been a sugar coated no. He’s too young to understand that even if his poor father sells everything he owns, he still won’t be able to afford the treatment. A staggering Rs 14 lakh – that’s the cost to rescue my son from thalassemia,” said Sandeep Suralkar.

“His bone marrow transplant was done eight days ago. My daughter’s bone marrow was given to him. Now, he is fine. I request people to come forward and help him lead a healthy life,” said Sandeep.

With your help in the form of donations, Supesh can get a bone marrow transplant. Sandeep lives in Akola with his wife and four children. A farmer by profession, he owns about Rs 8,000 a month. Supesh has got 80 transfusions so far that has costed Rs 1 lakh 20 thousand so far.

Supesh was detected with thalassemia when he was just 4 months old. In 2010, after he was just 3 months old he wasn’t breastfed. Worried, he rushed to the doctor. He’s been battling the disease for 7 long years now.

“The doctors, who are treating him at CMC Vellore Hospital, explained that Supesh would need lifelong blood transfusion every month, each costing me Rs 1500. The permanent solution to this misery would be to get him a bone marrow transplant which we have just done. I knew this solution right from the start but we couldn’t find a matching donor. But now, we’ve found one – my youngest daughter, 3.5-year-old Rachna’s bone marrow is compatible with Supesh. When we told Supesh that his younger sister was saving his life, his response was, “Next Raksha Bandhan, I will tie her rakhi since she’s saving my life.”

“I want to free my son from the hospital visits and the painful syringes but I’m failing miserably,” said Suralkar.

“When we come across such stories, at times we feel extremely sad. But then, we try our best to do our every bit in helping such patients.  I think everyone deserve to live a healthy life especially children, they are our future. One single donation can save a life, that’s what crowd-funding is all about,” said Varun Sheth, CEO and Co-Founder of Ketto.

BOX: To help the Surlkars, you can go to: https://www.ketto.org/fundraiser/supesh